Category Archives: Voice Overs
Listen, we are in the middle of a pandemic. However, this has nothing to do with the COVID-19.
I’ve been an educator for 25 $%*& years. I’m thankful for that. However, have I lost my blackness? I’m correct in my speech so I go “in” and “out” of the ‘tude in my attitude in reading copy.
I have grown to love my coach. She tells and teaches it what “it” is.
For instance, I turned in a VO audition that needed a spoken poetry feel by an African American so I submitted.
After listening to it, my coach was able to pinpoint (God, what an ear) the little things that make the talent not sound authentic.
She can tell me what is wrong; however, it’s not something that a person should think about when doing copy. Either you sound authentic or you don’t.
I’m learning that maybe I have unlearned my natural blackness in speech to the point that I can’t retrieve it naturally in copy.
BTW, I’m unable to post anything about the ad. However, I just wanted to get on this platform right after my voice-over coaching session to pinpoint my frustration.
I’m glad to know this. Learn from the best. Thank God that I can switch myself to what it’s supposed to be. In other words, I can make adjustments extremely fast now. It takes practice and training. Hmmm. I’m unsure about a lot of things though at this point. I will just have to work on it and see what happens.
I can make the copy sound natural; however, my natural sassy reads are challenging. That bites my ass big time.
Dang, did I lose my blackness as an educator?!?
I had an ENT visit yesterday that I can share with you.
The ENT (ears, nose, and throat) is also called an Otorhinolaryngologist.
I wanted to check my vocal folds (term also used is vocal cords) to see if there was anything that I should be concerned about. I had overused my voice on a particular day and since I’m in a choral group, teach choir to young singers, speak as a voice-over talent, act, and sing at times, it was time for a check-up.
The specialist was great. I highly recommend Buckhead ENT in Atlanta, GA.
If you’ve never been to an ENT, I procedure is not painful. However, it is uncomfortable.
Spray goes into your nostril on both sides. A tube with a light at the end is inserted into one nostril down to your vocal folds.
I was asked to hum, sing a high sound, ascend and descend vocally so that full coverage could be viewed.
I had gone to the PCP earlier due to my throat issue and discovered that I had acid reflux. The ENT did see redness due to the acid reflux. However, my vocal folds were fine, yay!
There are many issues that can occur as a vocalist, speaker, and teacher. I encourage people to take care of your voice with simple things.
- Drink plenty of water, lukewarm is best. I urge people to drink water when they first wake up in the morning.
- Space your speech and rest your voice throughout certain times of the day. Sometimes, it’s best to remain quiet. A person doesn’t have to comment all the time. Silent times should be necessary for teachers, singers, choir directors, voice-over talents, professors (whoever uses their voice consistently for communication).
- Get plenty of rest, six to eight hours per day.
- Get your exercise.
- Eat healthy foods and cook more at home.
These are very simple ideas; however, they work.
For the website of Buckhead ENT; see below:
Good Sunday Afternoon!
It’s been an interesting long hot summer with the 2016 election. Hopefully, it will be over soon whether we like the result or not. Please vote!
My posts are updates as a talent.
- voiceover work – I have submitted for narration work to companies that specialize in eLearning and business narrations. I submitted today for upcoming projects. It’s always good to keep marketing yourself regardless or how much or little work you are completing at the moment.
- film work – I visited my agent’s new office space yesterday. Kathleen hired a new office manager named Linda, and I hope to book another project soon. My current project on my social media page is called Memoirs of a Godfather, a web series. It was super fun and I play Fran in Goodbyes. Hope to have the project recur soon. It’s on vimeo at the website: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/memoirsofagodfather
- music work – I auditioned and became a member of the DeKalb Choral Guild. Our first rehearsal is Monday. I’m glad to sing with the group and they perform interesting choral works. It’s not the typical choral works that I’ve seen in the past. I hope to have a deep fulfilling choral experience with this group for many years. I enjoy singing in the choir. I’m also a choral director as well at a performing arts school. I will enjoy singing under a great group of choral singers.
That’s the completion of my status at this time. A film project is complete and I hope to finally complete my audiobook project in September 2016. I will write an update on that project next.
Enjoy your life. You only live once.
It’s been five months since I last wrote on my blog. It was a purposeful decision. I really didn’t have much to say during these five months that wasn’t totally about me dealing with personal issues. I’m moving beyond the personal and back to the professional to some degree today. It’s been a purification of water, fire, air, and dirt (thrown in my face). I’ve been extremely blessed to work in a performing arts school that’s about five minutes from home which is beyond cool and extraordinary. There are constant performances in choral and instrumental music with my students including drama, dance, and art. I’m eternally grateful to become a part of the faculty.
Today’s purpose is about voice-overs as a union talent in a right to work state. I was sent a non-union voice-over audition from my agent in FL who knows that I’m a union actor. Heck, I have SAG-AFTRA on my website. So, I’m being tested to check if I will do a non-union gig under the table. That is the only rationale that I can think of at this point since they needed decent, good, or great African-American women to submit the audition and send that baby to the client. Apparently, I passed the test of “decent” enough that they wanted me to submit.
(Sigh)……I have the desire to post on my Facebook and biz pages that I do not accept non-union work since my agent is on my friend’s list. That is just a reminder to them. However, no, I will not. They know. I’m just being tested.
So, I’m sending my a$$ to Nancy Wolfson to become more bad-a$$ and see if I can book the gigs that I hope she sends my way and book the sh!*&t out of them. After that, I’m sending my a$$ to Celia Siegel for marketing help.
If a talent chooses Fi-Core, then fine. However, I’m not Fi-Core. I get plenty of non-union auditions daily. I don’t do them. I audition as a union talent. I’m sharing this since a talent has to stand up for what they believe in doing. Morals trump money (so that’s why I’m broke…hmmm). Most of the time, it’s the other way around. I’ll keep my morals (thank you God). If I want more money, I don’t prostitute. I work as a bartender or pet sitter or teach music/drama lessons if I need more money. We all need more money. However, I’ve come to realize the whore side of this business. It’s not for children and yet child actors need protection as well. It’s a crazy, ruthless, stab-you-in-the-back-kind of business. Yet, I have some morals that I choose to keep. I intend to keep them (praise God) and will work towards that end.
So, I’m working now locally and my auditions have improved. I’ll continue to work hopefully with sessions when I can afford them with Nancy Wolfson and company (Jeff who?). It’s a matter of showing up and showing out.
Parents beware. Raise your children to become excellent people first. If they want to work in the arts, they will find their way. Raise your child and pray for them daily.
Meanwhile, be bad-a$$. That’s what this takes. I don’t know how the ending will come out. However, nothing less than your best will do. Get the best and do your best.
I was just introduced to the short story read by Leonard Nimoy. He died yesterday on February 27, 2015.
I had a chance meeting with Mr. and Mrs. Nimoy in NYC crossing an intersection at Washington Square Park and W4th Street. I was a student at NYU and it was the summer of 2002 or ’03.
I got to say in 5 seconds that I enjoyed his work. His wife smiled at him as he smiled. I kept walking. You see many famous people walking the streets of NYC. I didn’t know he did a short story (audiobook) on a record until now. Remember records? lol I posted how much that I loved the poem although it’s about devastation. It’s a sad poem and the choral music fits perfectly. I purchased it this year for my choir in SAB from JW Pepper. #sciencefiction #audiobooks #choralmusic #poetry
I wanted to write one last blog for the end of the year in 2014.
Perusing the blog, I discovered that I had a small group of followers about 30 plus now.
Again, thank you for reading.
I’m not interested in the numbers and I would love to steer the conversation less about me and more about the work that I’m doing.
I realize that I haven’t done it that much. Granted, it’s been a tough year and the website is GVOS and ME as well.
However, I hope to share more about the “work” related part of what I do and less on the “me” part.
Some of my posts have been switched to “private.” However, if you read those posts, you probably know more about me than I care to admit (rolling my eyes).
Have a wonderful new year! I will do the same.
Each day is a gift. I may discontinue the blog if I feel that I really don’t have anything to say except the personal stuff. That’s boring most of the time. If I can share more of the professional information that a person would like to know, I’ll keep the blog for another year. If not, I’ll switch the whole blog to private or remove it.
I can recommend excellent blogs to view to further your career. I’m just not the right blog for that purpose at this time:
1. VO Buzz Weekly – Excellent video blogs posted every Sunday by Chuck Duran and Stacey J. Aswad. Called the “Coolest” Voiceover Actor Show on the Web. Check them out. They’re cool. They interview the hottest people that’s working today.
2. EWABS – East West Audio Body Shop (if you love talking “shop” guys and gals, this weekly Monday night video webinar is for you)
3. SAG Foundation – Videos from seminars have been outstanding from voiceovers to film and television. Peruse to find more than one interest to view of your favorite movie and film actors to wonderful voice over webinars in animation, audiobooks, and voiceover material.
Google the information for the most up to date results. I hope that this helps you in finding material, answering your questions, and relatable voice over webinars and programs to get you jump started in a performance career in voiceovers and beyond.
I wish for myself and everyone reading this blog a prosperous new year! If this post has proved helpful, send me a comment.
Blessings to us all,
I get Julie’s email blasts and I noticed that she included a free webinar by Julie and Vanessa Hart called Audiobook Techniques and Getting Work. They worked together a lot. I did meet Julie Williams at VO Atlanta 13. She was really great and presented in long form nonfiction narration. She also spoke about medical narration, whereas Vanessa did mostly fiction.
Thank you very much for this. Below is a link to an article written by Julie Williams.
Voice Actors are extremely generous, so it’s nice to receive these gifts.
Check out Julie Williams’ articles at VoiceOverInsider.com or email her at email@example.com.
Vanessa Hart unexpectedly died on Tuesday, February 11, 2014. Her sister, Dana, posted on Facebook the news. The family will post her obituary in the LA Times on Sunday, February 16, 2014.
We studied for five months from June to November 2013. She told me towards the end of our sessions that she wasn’t trying to take my money. lol I just wanted to take my time and learn from her. I knew that once I started teaching, that it would get difficult and it did. However, it was ALL WORTH IT. I’m so glad that I LOVED training in audiobooks. I loved words again. I enjoyed telling the stories in every paragraph and enjoyed my character research. The audio computer issues…not so much. I had plenty of those and George Whittam, Vanessa and I (along with Zach Herries with Mosaic Audio) had to really try to figure out my issues. That took time.
I was going to meet Vanessa here in Atlanta for the VO Atlanta 2014 convention with Voiceover City Atlanta in March 2014. Vanessa was excited and I was going to help her while she was here. However, I never got to meet her. I knew her well as a student though. Once, I canceled my session with her but she didn’t have time for a replacement, and I felt like a little girl in the 7th grade when I had to tell her that I ran out of money for the session. I had to explain to her that I didn’t pay her, nor my utilities for the month. I couldn’t pay anybody. lol Thankfully, I was able to pay everyone quickly soon after that incident. I had to slowly get back to her good graces after that. That was the only time that she was upset with me during our five month training session. I’m just glad that it wasn’t the acting that she was upset about. 🙂
So, I didn’t get to meet her but we knew each other well. What a treat to study with the great Vanessa Hart. She was a master audiobook narrator, actor, and voice talent. I’m so thankful that I had the courage to send a Facebook message on Christmas Eve 2012, asking if I could study with her. I wanted to start during the summer, and we did. My audiobooks demos are on ACX (audiobook creation exchange).
So, I will toast Vanessa after completing a book. I will complete many with prayer and tenderness, knowing that I trained with the best.
Thank you for your time spent with me, Vanessa Hart! It was ALL WORTH IT.